Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of SUV's. But I got one since every other car on the road is a truck of some sort and in the event of a crash I want my family to be safe. The CX-9 was the only SUV that received 5 stars for front and side crash and 4 star for rollover in ratings. Reliability has been superb so far with regular maintenance.
We drove the Pilot, Highlander, MDX as well and hands down the MDX was the best of the 4 but at $10K more than the CX-9 it was expensive. The gas mileage was lower as well. Pilot was too boxy and the highlander costed as much as the MDX (which is lame).
After a couple years and 20K miles it's still as solid as the first day! Recommended!
Driving experience is superb! It simply doesn't feel like a truck. The 273 hp engine is plenty enough for a smooth take off and the disk brakes do the stopping job well.
The exterior styling is in the same league as X5 or Q7. It's stance from the side is as stylish as it can be done for a SUV.
Premium cloth is very durable and will hold off minor spills (if cleaned quickly).
Dashboard is straightforward yet classy. The red lighted dash is well designed for ease of use and readings.
Third row seats can be adjusted very easily, they fold flat and are split 50-50 as well.
Per the SUV's reading we have averaged 18.5 mpg at an avg. speed of 29mph (mostly city driving). Fantastic mileage!
Power seats should be standard for your flagship car. Heated seats and mirrors can be optional though.
The seats could have a bit more cushion in them.
Black colored floor mats are almost always a bad idea. Customers should at least have a second choice.
Cargo area mats could be made of a better material or at least make the rubber liner standard.
Few more cup holders wouldn't hurt.
Third row should have it's own a/c vents.
Love the cx9! We test drove several cars until we decided to purchase a cx9. We need the room of a minivan, but wanted something to please our teenage children. They also love it! It drives like a car, similar to mazda6. It is a large roomy suv, but feels smaller than it is. We love using it for our children sport events, easy to bring cooler and gear for needed for games. The sport version of the CX9 is a great value, you get many standard features for your money.
drives like a car, lots of room, split 50/50 seats in rear
fuel economy, more small storage compartments for small items. Lock window button should not also lock driver's window.
I test drove many and this car was the clear value leader (IF you can still get the generous discounts). Safety was a high-priority and the CX-9 has every safety device/feature available on vehicles under $50,000 - except Daytime Running Lights!? Excellent handling/steering. Design and features impress everyone from teens to middle-aged. To be sure, it rides a little rough on typical streets -- you will feel all the bumps -- but has the most comfortable car seats I've ever sat in (and I don't have leather). Maybe the best thing is that it's a big car, but doesn't look or drive like one. No car is perfect, but the minor annoyances on this one are more than made up by the outstanding ones.
Handling and maneuverability. Bluetooth operation. High visibility (both by driver and being seen by other cars). Seats and dashboard. Heated mirrors to clear fog and ice. Automatic climate control. Storage room behind 3rd row. Cruise/Radio controls on steering wheel. Orange instrumentation, for now
Better fuel mileage & larger gas tank. Sirius radio should be standard. Better stereo controls and speakers. More room for driver's left foot and right knee. More upfront storage areas. Doors should lock automatically when you start driving and unlock when you pull the handle. Smoother acceleration.
Normally we travel on long trips in our Grand Caravan, but on this trip from Detroit to Mackinac over Memorial Day we drove the CX-9. My teenage daughter that seems to complain about everything these days had nothing but praise for the CX-9. So did the other kids. Despite being smaller, it really felt like there was more interior room. I couldn't believe all the luggage and the people I was able to haul comfortably. Much more fun to drive than the mini-van too.
Hands-down the easiest bluetooth paring I have ever dealt with. The cruise control was so easy to adjust that I was able to cruise most of the way up and down I-75 on Memorial Day weekend with the cruise on.
For as much as it costs, there are a few interior pieces that just seem very cheap.